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Tanakh – “Chameleonic” (Song Premiere)

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Back in January, South Dakotan post-death metal duo Tanakh dropped their debut EP Unwilling to our delight, delivering abundant atmospherics but without any consequent “mental removal” from the hard-and-fast metal underneath. Fast forward to now, just a half-year later, and Tanakh’s debut full-length Chameleonic is poised for launch. With matured riff-writing and beefed-up vocals, the duo has polished any rough edges for a more accessible and cohesive package. Stream the title track — one of the album’s most outright dramatic — below.

“Chameleonic” detonates with dark chugging and elephant-march drumming, accompanied by vocalist Nick Murphy’s characteristically -core screams. Quickly phasing into bursts of blast beats, then out, Tanakh modulates intensity from reflective somnolence to outright aggression. Employing this technique throughout Chameleonic helps Tanakh achieve a dual approach: construct atmosphere during the slow moments, then execute mini-climaxes during periods of assault. Constant shifts, though, risk an album’s overall integrity; here, Tanakh ensures consistency by forefronting the vocals and spotlighting drums on either side of transitions.

As a deceptively simple track, “Chameleonic” thickens mood with noise-wall textures and emotive surges. Tone and production matter, especially when conveying a sense of darkness with such explicit heartfeel, and Tanakh shines in this regard. But the duo also hits heavy (without slamming), not foregoing the outright punch atmospheric bands often lack. The noise is vicious but pointed; the onslaught is persistent but ultimately forgiving, as listeners are entranced and released at well-timed intervals. “Chemelonic” is the album’s sixth track and serves as a rigid backbone.

Speaking about Chameleonic overall, Tanakh has rounded and deepened the atmosphere from the Unwilling EP over nine nicely-strung-together tracks (about 51 minutes). Throughout, they discover additional melody (and passion) by way of straightforward guitar leads draped over subtly complex underlying mechanics. Soft(er) moments of retreat make appearances to break up the mix, and the vocals discover emotional territories beyond the range of just those on the title track. Chameleonic carries forth like a contemplative journey, where uncovering the sheer noise of life serves well to relieve its pain.

Chameleonic releases on July 7. Preorder the album here. Follow Tanakh on Facebook here.

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